Apprenticeship Training

Contacts

Alberta Advanced Education & Technology - Apprenticeship and Industry Training

1-800-248-4823

Website: www.tradesecrets.gov.ab.ca

Red Deer College - Apprenticeship Registration Line

403-342-3100
1-888-475-1101

Apprenticeship Schedules and Registration Dates

For information on Apprenticeship Schedule and Registration Dates for the upcoming Academic year, please visit the Technical Training Centre of the above website.

The Programs

RDC has 15 apprenticeship programs leading to journeyman status:

Trade Careers - A Smart Choice

Trades careers have a lot going for the skilled men and women who work in them...lots more than most of them imagined when they first started out!

  • many trades offer the right kind of challenge as they are highly technical, involve lots of math and sciences, and are changing quickly
  • a trade career can lead to supervision, management, the professions and business entrepreneurship
  • most tradespeople can write a 'Red Seal' exam and earn an Interprovincial Standards Red Seal on their journeyman certificate. This lets them work in most Canadian provinces and territories
  • pay rates vary; generally they are good
  • while some trades occasionally are affected by temporary economic slowdowns, the aging workforce means an overall increase in future demand for skilled tradespeople. Employers need people with the right skills!

Learning a Trade

An apprentice is someone learning a trade while he or she is employed.

Apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training, work experience and technical training in a trade.

Apprentices spend about 80% of the time learning on-the-job from a qualified tradesperson. The rest of the time they take technical training, usually at a college or technical institution. Depending on the trade and the region in Alberta, there may be other methods of delivery of technical training.

An apprenticeship program lasts 1 to 4 years, depending on the trade. From day one, apprentices earn money for their time on the job. First-year apprentices earn about half of a journeyman's wage. The pay increases as the training progresses.

When apprentices successfully complete their apprenticeship program, they graduate to certified journeymen. The Alberta Journeyman Certificate proves to themselves and to any future employer that they meet Alberta's high industry standards.

There are 50 apprenticeable trades in Alberta.

Who can enter an apprenticeship program?

Age doesn't matter. You can enter apprenticeship during high school or any time after. Most first-time apprentices are in their late teens or early 20s.

To be an apprentice you need to:

  • complete grade 12 (some trades don't require Grade 12, but many employers prefer to hire high school graduates), or
  • write and pass an entrance exam, or
  • take part in the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) while you're still in high school, earning an income and credit toward your apprenticeship and your high school diploma.

In many cases, students who have taken certain Career and Technology Studies (CTS) program modules may receive credits toward an apprenticeship. The same applies for those who have taken certain kinds of post-secondary training. These credits can shorten the time it takes to complete an apprenticeship and become a certified journeyman.

Alberta Learning is taking steps to increase the participation of Aboriginal people in the trades through its Enhancing Aboriginal Participation in the Trades Communication Initiative.

Financial assistance is available to apprentices in a variety of forms:

  • Awards and Scholarships
  • Government loans and grants
  • Employment Insurance

Click here for more detailed funding information and instructions. 

How do apprentices register for technical training?

Each year, employers and apprentices receive a mailing from Apprenticeship and Industry Training that includes information about where and when training is available, and instructions on how to apply at each institute or college.

The apprentice, after consulting with their employer, applies directly to the institute or college before the training starts.

  • Class registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Early registration is recommended because training space may be limited.
  • The apprentice will need to pay the full tuition fee at the time of registration.

The institute or college will verify the apprentices eligibility and provide written confirmation of registration to both the apprentice and the employer.

More information about Alberta's Apprenticeship Program: www.tradesecrets.gov.ab.ca

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